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Copernicus: CAMS monitors the distribution of dust clouds from the Sahara across southern and central Europe

Copernicus: CAMS monitors the distribution of dust clouds from the Sahara across southern and central Europe

Aerosol forecasts from the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service noted another large cloud of dust from the Sahara moving north across southern and central Europe from May 20-23. CAMS data monitors the development of dust clouds each year and in all phases, noting that this year shows and continues to show high levels of dust over the Mediterranean and parts of Europe.

Image: The aerosol optical depth (AOD) forecast for the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) began at 00 UTC on May 20, 2022. Source: Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service / ECMWF.

Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) Forecasts since May 17 predict another large dust cloud with very high values ​​of Aerosol optical depth (AOD) Dust concentrations travel north through western and central Europe. Dust has already reached the Iberian Peninsula and forecasts show higher values ​​for May 21-22. On May 22, dust clouds will also pass through central Europe.

The EAM system tracks all phases of dust clouds from the Sahara Desert each year and provides continuous updates on the intensity of dust distribution for the year, including the high values ​​observed Over Western Europe in mid-March Beside Dust crosses the Atlantic Ocean on its way to the Caribbean. The severe dust storms that hit the Middle East throughout May 2022 and that severely impacted Iraq are also monitored by the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service. CAMS provides continuous data and forecasts that track dust clouds over long distances on both European And global floor. The data and tools provided are free to use and serve as a tool to help citizens, businesses and decision makers make informed decisions on an ongoing basis with 24/7 air quality forecast data.

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Senior Investigator Mark Barrington at ECMWF Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service comments: “The Copernican Atmospheric Monitoring Service is positioning itself in the discussion about how the composition of the atmosphere is changing because EMS information relies on near-real-time satellites and on-site observations for air Reliable quality forecasts. Dust clouds, for example, knowing when air quality can be exceptionally poor in areas.”

Here is more information on CAM monitoring for this year’s desert dust season:

Additional air quality data is available in the Atmospheric Data Store (ADS):!/dataset/cams-global-atmospheric-composition-forecasts?tab=overview


About Copernicus and ECMWF

Copernicus is part of the European Union’s Space Programme, funded by the European Union, the flagship Earth observation programme. The operation operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergencies. It provides freely available operational data and services that provide users with reliable and up-to-date information about our planet and its environment. The program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMTSAT), the European Center for Medium Distance Forecasting (ECMWF), European Union agencies, Mercator Océan and more.

ECMWF operates two services of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Program: the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernican Emergency Management Service (CEMS), which is implemented by the European Union Joint Research Council (JRC). The European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organization supported by 35 countries. It is a 24/7 operational research and service institute that produces and publishes digital weather forecasts to its member states. These data are fully available to the national meteorological services of the member states. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archives) at the ECMWF is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and member states can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

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ECMWF has increased the number of places in which it does business. In addition to the UK headquarters and the computing center in Italy, new offices focusing on activities implemented in partnership with the European Union, such as Copernicus, will be located in Bonn, Germany starting in the summer of 2021.

Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service:

Copernicus Climate Change Service:
More information about Copernicus:


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Nuria Lopez
Communication | Copernicus contracts and the press
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Bjorn Mogensen
Oxenstierna Communication
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